Author: Acuña, Maria Virginia
Publication details: “Sobbing Cupids, Lamenting Lovers, and Weeping Nymphs in the Early Zarzuela: Calderón de la Barca’s El laurel de Apolo (1657) and Durón and Navas’s Apolo y Dafne (circa 1700).” Bulletin of the Comediantes 69, no. 2 (2017): 69-95.
Abstract: How did the mythological zarzuela develop following its creation in 1657? And when did weeping, cross-dressed characters emerge as mainstays of this genre? In this essay I bring together the fields of literary studies and historical musicology to examine the lament, a climactic solo song that peaked in popularity in the zarzuela from the turn of the eighteenth century. I begin by providing an overview of the development and transformations in Spanish musico-theatrical lamenting traditions, and then turn to examine three laments in a little-known zarzuela produced circa 1700: Apolo y Dafne (text anonymous, music by Sebastián Durón and Juan de Navas), based on the same subject as Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s first zarzuela, El laurel de Apolo (1657). Through the analysis of text, music, and performance, I explore changing musico-theatrical conventions in the later seventeenth century. To make this research accessible to a wider audience, I provide English translations of all excerpts in this essay.